The high level of moral decadence and insurgencies in Nigerian nation is an indication that there is poor religious teaching in secondary school system. Christian religious studies (CRS) as one of the religious subjects taught in secondary school in Nigerian takes a central position in ensuring moral and spiritual well being of individuals in the society1. The key roles of CRS in equipping the individuals and ensuring high level of morality is made clear in the objectives of CRS at the senior secondary level which include; to provide more opportunities for Nigerian youths to learn more about god and thereby develop their faith in god; to enable the youths to accept Christ as their savior; to help the youths develop Christian attitude and moral values (such as humility, respect, love, and justice, etc); to instill in the youth the spirit of tolerance, reconciliation, peaceful co existence and non-violence as well as to develop and foster in the youth the spirit of respect for all people and human life2.
Religion can be defined as the beliefs, attitudes, emotions or behaviours constituting man’s relationship with the power and principles of the universe, especially with a deity or deities. It is also an object of conscientious devotion or scrupulous care.3
Christian Religious Knowledge is an aspect of religion that is peculiar to the followers of Christ. It was a religion of the Jews, then called Judaism or Yahwehism otherwise called Hebrew.4 Christian religion is being practiced in Nigeria till today because it is a builder or moulder of attitude and morality. Religion cannot be separated from education that is the reason why religious education is included in the National curriculum of Education right from the primary to the tertiary level of education.5 Despite the importance of Christian Religious Knowledge to the individual and nation in inculcating moral values and behaviour change, it is worthy to note that the attitude of students in the subject is diminishing and poor.6
Poor attitude of students toward Christian religion knowledge has revealed in their poor performance in the subject has generated a growing concern from various quarters, parents, teachers, schools and government. One is also worried because if the relative importance of CRS to education excellence and moral development is considered, there is the need for a positive approach toward the study of Christian religious studies if the country is not to be eroded of its moral values.
Currently, the subject has an optional status for students. It is being challenged by socio-economic condition which have consistently demanded a functional program to meet the needs of a developing nation rich in religious plurality, diversity and secularity. Consequently, this raises a serious concern on the future of Christian Religious Knowledge. This situation has necessitated the need to empirically investigate review and evaluate students’ attitude toward career choice in Christian religion studies.
1.1 Statement of Problem
Career choice is a complex decision for students since it determine the kind of profession that they intend to pursue in life. As students try to make career choice, while in secondary school, they face problem of matching their career choices with the abilities and school performance.7
In Ibesikpo Asutan Local Government Area, every year senior secondary three students (SS 3) make career choices before sitting for their final examination (SSCE), however; the numbers of students writing Christian Religious Knowledge are not many as compared to science related subjects such as Mathematics, Physics, Chemistry, Biology etc.
In most of Akwa Ibom State cultures such as Ibibio culture, Oron, Annang, have strong religious beliefs and value, religious teaching and yet secondary school students in Ibesikpo Asutan would rather apply for professional courses and other courses from humanities in the University.8
According to Shertzer and Stone, lack of interest on the part of the student can always lead to low efficiency. This is my major area of concern; the lackadaisical attitude of students toward the subject is alarming. This attitude is portrayed by the number of students present during Christian Religion Knowledge class. Their enthusiasm is low toward the subject. It is based on this that the researcher seeks to investigate what factors are responsible for such negative attitude towards career choice in Christian Religious Studies.
1.2 Objective of the Study
The purposes of this research study is to examined the level of attitude of secondary schools students toward career choice in Christian Religious Studies in Ibesikpo Asutan Local Government Area. The key variables for realization of this goal are attitude of secondary schools students and career choice in Christian Religious Studies. It intends to specifically:
The research will limit itself to the factors that influence attitude of secondary schools students toward career choice in Christian Religion Studies. Analysis would be based on the current SS1-2 students of secondary schools in Ibesikpo Local Government Area of Akwa Ibom State. The subject used in the study is Christian Religious Knowledge. As at the time of this research, SS3 students were writing (WAEC).
This study made use of descriptive and survey method for the inquiry. The survey technique adopted include the questionnaire. This method involves collecting information or data about a given population from a sample selected to represent the entire population in question. The importance of the method is that it stands out as the most appropriate and reliable method of gathering first-hand information of a qualitative nature.
1.5 Significance of the Study
It is the researchers’ view that the outcome of the research study would be relevant in inculcating into the sub-consciousness of the students the need in putting up a positive attitude toward taking Christian religious Studies as course of study in the University. It will aid those entrusted with secondary school policy formulation and implementation to making Christian Religious Studies compulsory subject thereby competing alongside other science subjects such as Mathematics, Physics, Chemistry etc. being that Christian Religious Knowledge is a subject that teaches moral values, norms and ethical way of living.
It will also enlighten the secondary schools administrators on the need to employ professional teachers for the teaching of Christian Religious Knowledge. In most secondary schools, the teachers handling Christian Religious Studies are incompetent thereby lacking the passion and experience that will enable them deliver on the subject.
Finally, it will also contribute towards informing parents on the need to allow their children to take up CRS as course of study in tertiary institution.
Attitude: Ones feelings about an issue, events or condition. In this case, the feelings of secondary schools students about making a career choice in Christian Religious Studies of the 6,3,3,4 system of education as practiced on Nigeria at present.
Career Choice: Career is an enjoying process that occurs over the life span and includes home, schools and community. Choice is an act of choosing between two or more possibility. The right to choose or the possibility of choosing.
Christian Religious Studies: This is a course of study in the University which covers Christianity from a religious, anthropological, societal and historical perspective. A broad grounding in the humanities and science is also included in these degree programme.
1 M. Savickas, Advancing the career Counselling profession: Objectives and Strategies for the next decade, The Career Development Quarterly. 52(1), (2003):87-96.
2 Savickas, The Career Development Quarterly. 2003, pp. 89-94.
3 Savickas, The Career Development Quarterly. 2003, pp. 89-94.
4 D. Kasomo, Students’ attitudes on the Teaching of Christian Religious Education in Secondary Schools in Kenya International Journal of Psychology and Behavioural Sciences, 1(1), (2011):46-54.
5 B. Keller & S. Whiston, The Role of Parental influences on young Adolescent’s Career Development. Journal of Career Assessment, 16(2), (2008): 198-217.
6 Savickas, The Career Development Quarterly. 2003, pp. 89-94.
7 Savickas, The Career Development Quarterly. 2003, pp. 89-94.
8 A. Kroll, L. Dinklage, J. Lee, E. Morley & E. Wilson, Career Development,. (New York, NY: John Wiley, & Sons, Inc. 1970).ATTITUDE OF SECONDARY SCHOOLS STUDENTS TOWARDS CAREER CHOICE IN CHRISTIAN RELIGIOUS STUDIES